TechTarget is taking a soft launch approach to their new Priority Engine Express service for small software vendors and VARs with an early 2020 launch date. CEO Michael Cotoia said the firm is building a platform which is “simple, streamlined, and scalable.” Cotoia noted how smaller firms differ in sales and marketing requirements and capabilities from TechTarget’s enterprise clients:
Our smaller customers lack a lot of resources. They don’t have a marketing automation [platform] many times. They don’t have an integrated nurture campaign. They need to understand and have a very friendly user interface, and they’re also very focused on identifying and using this solution as a sales use case with their inside sales reps and even their outside sales reps. So what we’re really focused on is doing a very simple user interface, focus very much on a sales use case, and understand that we can help them build different types of lists and customized lists; for example, an ideal customer profile list, which is really going to focus on exactly their sweet spot so we can get them the right updates at the right time. They don’t have the resources; they don’t have the complexity. If they need it simple, they want it towards sales use cases, and we’re learning a lot from that.
TechTarget CEO Michael Cotoia
that TechTarget is taking a market feedback approach to Express development.
As they engage with small customers, they are pausing during the sale to
gather feedback to better understand what smaller firms are looking to do.
As they bring on early Express users, they are “tweaking, modifying,
adjusting and getting ready to go into 2020.” Cotoia called the initial
feedback in this new market “very positive.”
began building an SDR team two years ago to provide a team of appointment
setters for their outside sales reps. “We built that with a vision that
we’re going to be looking at additional products that we are going to roll
out,” said Cotoia. “We want to make sure we have the resources on the
bench” who are trained in the TechTarget methodology and ready to support new
opportunities such as Express “so they are ready to make and take action when
we see fit.”
TechTarget has raised the price for Priority Engine since it was launched a few years ago. “We believe we have pricing power,” said Cotoia. “We’ve had a couple of pricing increases year-over-year, and we believe we are in the best position to deliver real and observed purchase intent, make it very clear who’s in-market, by which technology segment, by which region and help our customers rank, prioritize and mobilize their sales and marketing efforts again, and we hope that creates some pricing leverage.”
Yesterday, I discussed TechTarget’s strong Q2. The above discussion was held in their Q2 2019 earnings announcement.
TechTarget posted a strong second quarter with revenues up 9% to $34.3 million. Growth was led by their Priority Engine technology sales intelligence service which added 38 new customers in Q2 and grew revenue by 44%.
Long-term contracts now comprise 33% of revenue.
expanded its Total Addressable Market (TAM) from 1,500 Enterprise IT vendors to
an additional 5,000 IT vendors consisting of small software companies and
regional VARs. The firm has been executing a soft rollout of Priority
Engine Express to this expanded universe.
are still in the learning stage but the early feedback is that this customer
segment is embracing the value proposition,” the firm told shareholders.
“We are increasing the number of salespeople dedicated to this product in
the near-term and remain on track for the full product roll-out in 2020.”
“We added several enhancements to Priority Engine in May including Personalized Account Rankings that reflect organic research with TechTarget and direct engagement with the customer to improve marketing and sales effectiveness. Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) creation and filtering directly within Priority Engine to efficiently find, track and convert identified best-fit customers. Enhanced Qualification Intelligence showcases the key attributes that make accounts high priority targets, including buying stage, ICP match and if there is a confirmed project. Improved Engagement Signals show you precisely when accounts visit your website, click on your banners and/or download your content. Indicators of New and Recent Activities give sales users new reasons to call and help them engage the buying team with highly tailored outreach.”
TechTarget Q2 2019 Shareholder Letter
provided Q3 revenue guidance between $33 and $34 million and annual guidance of
$133 and $134 million.
firm is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month and used the
opportunity to credit its employees. “We are incredibly grateful to our
dedicated team of employees who are smart, innovative, motivated, passionate
and hard-working. This team makes us look good and creates a win-win scenario
for customers, investors, partners and the communities where we operate. We are
especially proud of the transition that the Company has been able to make over
the past 5 years from an online media company delivering quarterly marketing
campaigns to a purchase intent data company selling annual subscriptions. We
think most people would agree that is not an easy transition to make. We are
very confident that our best days are ahead of us as we are now a leader in the
fast growing data intelligence market.”
TechTarget added Christina Van Houten to its Board. She currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for Mimecast Limited, a public email management company, where she is responsible for driving corporate development, product management, and market strategy. She previously held senior positions at Infor, IBM Netezza, and Oracle. Van Houten has “more than two decades of extensive, focused experience in marketing strategy with some of the world’s largest firms as well as significant corporate and business experience.” She has an MBA from the Booth School (University of Chicago) and a BA from Georgetown.
Continue to Part II on Priority Engine Express and the expansion of their target market to include small software vendors and value-added resellers.
Leadspace formally closed its ReachForce acquisition on July 1st. Coincidentally, that was the same day that Dun & Bradstreet closed on its Lattice Engines acquisition. Thus, Forester’s top two B2B CDPs (Q2 2019 Forrester Wave), were strengthened on the same day.
to Forrester, “Leadspace offers comprehensive data that includes a proprietary
second-party data asset with numerous sources of intent data and access to
third-party data sources. It also has strong segmentation capabilities
(e.g., ideal customer profile and total addressable market modeling for ABM)
and can help sellers decide who to call next and what to offer.”
ReachForce adds two core products to Leadspace: The well-regarded Smartforms web form service and the SmartSuite data hygiene platform.
provides “a one-stop-shop for data management, cleansing, and enriching, with
an easy-to-use interface which shows quickly the ‘state of the union on data
within CRM and MAP systems,” blogged Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher.
and Leadspace share over 200 joint customers, so integrating the services and
standardizing their content sets will provide direct benefits to those clients.
The firms share seven of the top ten enterprise software companies as
provides an additional set of data partners which can be combined with
Reachforce data sources. Leadspace data partners include DiscoverOrg, Dun
& Bradstreet, Bombora, KickFire, and others.
will now be able to leverage all of these data sources seamlessly in real-time,
through a single API and interface, offering a genuine single source of truth,”
Leadspace CDP supports a broad set of CRM, MAP, and digital advertising
platforms including Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot, Microsoft Dynamics,
HubSpot, and LiveRamp. Smartforms will be an additional “activation
product,” which “seamlessly and simply onboards new customers and customer
intelligence into Sales and Marketing engagement platforms.”
performs real-time data enrichment to lead records, allowing them to be
properly scored and routed. One of the long-standing benefits of
Smartforms is the opportunity to shorten forms and perform real-time
firmographic enrichment. Not only is the enriched data more accurate, but
form abandonment rates are significantly lower, resulting in a higher return on
digital marketing campaigns.
“What’s more, combining Smartforms with existing Leadspace capabilities like reverse IP information, detailed account- and person-level data, and AI modeling, means we can offer highly-accurate site and ad personalization on both the account (ABM) and persona level. For our customers, this means even more precise and personalized engagement and targeting, particularly those currently using our ABM solutions. (We will be announcing more on this offering in Q3 as we integrate the Reachforce and Leadspace platforms.)”
Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher
The merger also allows Leadspace to incorporate its proprietary AI-driven intelligence, automated scoring, and models within Reachforce products. Leadspace is beginning to move partner platforms from systems of record or systems of engagement to systems of intelligence. “CDPs combine vast data and data management capabilities with advanced AI to create a system of intelligence that guides Marketing and Sales to their best customers, and delivers razor-sharp insights and recommendations on how and when to effectively engage them,” said Bewsher. “The CDP is being rapidly adopted by B2B businesses now — including many enterprise companies at the forefront of marketing and sales strategy and innovation — and it’s proving equally as effective for them.”
InsideView went on the offensive to capture Data.com customers as Prospector and Clean are phased out over the next year. InsideView is offering their free Data Health report “as many Data.com customers have seen a degradation of data quality since the announcement was first made over a year ago.”
Data.com Prospector and Clean contracts are no longer renewing beginning this month.
tell us that the switch from Data.com to InsideView was not only easy but gave
them more confidence and made their data more useful than ever,” said Umberto
Milletti, CEO of InsideView. “Now we’re adding more data, more
technology, and more analytics to make InsideView even better, because it’s not
just about the data. It’s about how it helps drive marketing, sales, and
the bottom line.”
covers twice as many contacts (35 million) as Data.com including global
contacts and emails. InsideView also emphasized its improved match logic:
Comprehensive analysis of customers’ data quality (i.e. malformed company names, transposed data fields, incomplete addresses, etc.)
Flexibility in match logic based on business needs and data availability (i.e. company name, website/email domains, street address, city, state, country, etc.)
Higher match rates and accuracy using probabilistic intent (e.g. inferring a match result based on geographic or industry clustering, etc.,) within the input file.
Clear explanations of why records match and suggestions for those that don’t match.
Other enhancements include expanded location data with site counts and “fine-grain control for selecting CRM records under management and field level update rules.”
In the Sales Intelligence category, the top four B2B sales intelligence AppExchange offerings come from Zoominfo, DiscoverOrg, D&B Hoovers, and InsideView.
InsideView also announced that its Microsoft Dynamics Insights service will be available at no charge through the end of current MS Dynamics 365 contracts. Current Insights customers simply need to opt-in. Companies that do not qualify can license Insights directly from InsideView.
“Microsoft is committed to delivering stellar customer experiences and it became clear to them, after announcing changes to their data augmentation strategy in January, that many customers love and value InsideView Insights,” said InsideView Senior Product Marketing Manager Janice Bowen. “In response to their needs, Microsoft decided to continue providing InsideView’s data and intelligence solution for an extended period of time.”
Clari is the latest vendor to join the SalesLoft app directory of over fifty partners. Clari’s Connected Revenue Operations Platform “automatically tracks sales activity data and engagement for your entire revenue operations team so you can measure the health of your pipeline and forecast more accurately,” announced SalesLoft. “Increased signal intelligence helps reps and managers understand which opportunities are trending in the right direction, and which can use more engagement to drive them forward.”
engine analyzes SalesLoft engagement activity including email opens, calls made, and LinkedIn messaging to help “reps focus on
the right deals and managers make more accurate forecasts.”
noted that the buyer’s journey is complex with enterprise deals touching eight
buyers and influencers at enterprise prospects. Thus, “it can be tough to
know what activities have occurred with which personas and even tougher to know
which activities to attempt next to move the needle.”
joint solution provides a single pane of glass for assessing sales rep
activities, determining which activities move deals forward, and planning for
“Too often, go-to-market teams operate in disconnected silos. We’re fixing this by using AI and automation to connect real-time business activity with back-office systems and processes so teams spend less time entering data, and sales, marketing, and customer success are always on the same page. Bridging these silos makes every campaign, QBR [Quarterly Business Review], and forecast call more data-driven and actionable.”
Clari CEO Andy Byrne
Besides SalesLoft, Clari application partners include Outreach, Yesware, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, DiscoverOrg, Salesforce, Marketo, Slack, Gmail, and Outlook.
Costello, which describes itself as sales co-pilot software, released an upgraded integration with SalesLoft. The app displays Salesforce Opportunities from within the SalesLoft sales engagement platform. The service is generally available to joint customers through SalesLoft’s App Directory.
displays a Deal Dashboard and Deal View from within SalesLoft for pipeline
management. Deal Status elements include deal stage, days in stage, days
active, and deal amount. Costello also calls out Deal Gaps (missing deal
fields, days past due), Stakeholders (buyers’ circle with roles and concerns),
Call Summary with notes, and a deal timeline.
reps and managers can quickly review three to five of the most important deal
details such as key buying criteria, key challenges, and desired outcomes.
“Deal View gives reps, managers, and leaders across the company a simple, streamlined view of everything that matters when managing a deal. And it gives your team an easier, more intuitive way to manage stakeholders, so you can quickly figure out who matters most, what they care about, and what their blockers are.”
Costello Chief Strategy Officer Rod Feuer
A single-pane view supports In-line opportunity edits and a unified view which supports quick updates and pipeline review meetings. Costello claims opportunity updates may be performed 75% more quickly. “This is a game-changer not only for productivity but for pipeline confidence,” said Costello CEO Frank Dale.
Sales Acceleration Platform Cognism closed on a $10 million Series B from PeakSpan, bringing total funding to $16.5 million. Previous investors included Oliver Wyman, South Central Ventures, LCIF, and Newable Ventures Limited. The firm, founded in 2016, grew ARR over 4x last year.
will be deployed for opening local offices in Singapore and New York City as
well as growing its machine learning team. According to CEO James Isilay,
the firm has already “won significant business remotely” in both regions.
Isilay called Asian expansion “particularly interesting” due to SaaS being relatively young in the market. Cognism has already leveraged its partnership with investor Oliver Wyman to acquire two “blue-chip financial clients” in Asia. “Investment here looks to be a promising tonic to the barriers to trade growth that are disrupting business in Europe and America.”
granted our first machine learning patent in December 2018, Cognism is now
building a portfolio of IP which will drive the next evolution of sales and
marketing technology,” said Isilay.
“Sales and marketing technology has been a core focus of ours for many years, arming us with a long-term perspective on the segment and a nuanced understanding of market trends and buyer dynamics that drive strategic value. With such a proliferation of tools and technologies emerging across the marketing and sales landscape over the last decade, it’s no secret that go-to-market leaders today aren’t asking for more software tools – they’re demanding better outcomes. Cognism’s pragmatic application of AI, which underpins the whole solution suite, is paving the way for a new category focused on turning disparate data points into coordinated insights to drive predictive and prescriptive lead generation and improve conversion across all engagements.”
▪ Matt Melymuka, Co-Founder and Partner at PeakSpan
database spans 400 million contacts and 10 million businesses. Cognism’s
products support Prospecting, Sales Triggers, and CRM Enrichments.
CRM Connectors are available for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics,
HubSpot, and PipeDrive. A cadence tool sends templated emails through
Gmail and Outlook.
Marketing Features include A/B testing, Personas, ICP and TAM Analyses, and webform enrichment.
Drift, which has quickly established itself as a leader in the chatbot space, is upping the ante by integrating video and chat. Users will be able to share and record videos via a Chrome extension or mobile app. Recorded videos can then be dropped into emails and sent to customers or prospects.
are “private and secure” with single sign-on functionality from Okta, OneLogin,
and Microsoft Azure. Users can restrict viewing to a specific email or
email list and “everyone else will have to request permission, just like you
would with a Google Doc.”
suggests three sales use cases for video: as a conversation starter, as a
second chance to refine a message after a call, and as a group selling tool
Video provides real-time desktop and mobile notifications when viewed. Users
can immediately start a conversation while somebody is viewing their video “so
you can reach out and say hello or follow-up at the perfect time.”
is the immediate notification element which Drift claims to be its product
“There are a few good software products out there that make it easy to capture and share videos. But we took a look around the market and noticed one big thing missing: none of those products create a better buying experience because they don’t actually help you start conversations with potential customers. You still have to make a video, send an email, and hope to get a response. But with Drift Video, you can get a notification in real-time while someone is watching your video and then hop right in and say hello.”
starting Drift, we’ve said there are two mega-trends that would shape the
future of B2B sales and marketing: messaging and video,” said CEO David Cancel.
“Over the last few years we’ve built an industry-leading messaging
platform used by over 150,000 businesses, and now we’re expanding our
Conversational Marketing platform by adding video.”
is driving global IP demand. According to Cisco, one million minutes of
video will be crossing the Internet every second by 2020 and 82% of all
Internet traffic will be video by 2021.
video is available today as part of the Drift offering. There is no
surcharge for video functionality for up to ten videos per month with a chat
option embedded into the video. For $12 per seat per month or $120 per
annum, reps are provided with a Pro license which includes unlimited HD quality
video sharing and storage. Only the Pro version restricts video sharing.
features include Team Analytics, Book Meetings from Video, and integrations
with Salesforce, Pardot, and Marketo.
spent the last year working on Drift Video and it was one of the main reasons
for raising our Series C in April 2018,” stated Cancel. “In looking at
the market over that time, we saw that while there are many products that make
it easy to create and share videos, none of them were built to help to start
conversations and create a better buying experience. After a private beta
with some great early customers, that’s what we’re bringing to market today
with Drift Video.”
has integrated video in its own sales process with 50% of Drift revenue
“influenced by video in the selling process.”
is the greatest conversation starter in B2B buying,” said Alexa Nguyen in a
Drift video. “In a world of faceless phone calls and emails, video has
helped us build trust, and video has helped us close more deals.”
Video is another way for salespeople to engage with their prospects outside of the norm. Prospects are constantly bombarded with emails and phone calls asking for their attention. But it’s hard to cut through that noise because they don’t trust easily. In order to build that trust, you need to build a personal connection. And all personal connections start with a conversation. Video allows people to be personal, show that they’re human, and help build that connection that might be lost through text in an email.
Lacey Berrien, Drift’s PR Senior Manager
to research from Forrester and Boston Consulting Group, 75% of B2B transactions
have little or no sales interaction. Thus, video offers a valuable
channel through which sales reps can avoid being disintermediated. However,
sales reps could push this functionality too far. While chat
functionality sounds like the next step for video, reps should be careful not
to step over the line from personable to creepy.
prospects view an email, most understand that the act of opening an email
triggers a notification to the sender, but they don’t expect that the viewing
of a video will be treated as a real-time permission for a call or chat. Immediately
reaching out to customers and prospects may be viewed as a non-permissioned
extension of an asynchronous communication into synchronous. Drift does
not discuss GDPR in the announcement, but this seems to cross the boundary into
non-permissioned communications and the release of personally identifiable
is viewing your video. Call immediately”). The video privacy
permissions are focused on the seller (ensuring they aren’t shared with
others), but there does not seem to be any functionality to limit the “call me
back” immediacy of the service. If anything, the immediate messaging will
drive down the open rate of all embedded video and kill its efficacy.
I raised this concern to Drift, they offered a best practice to address this
issue. Lacey Berrien, Drift’s PR Senior Manager, suggested that sales
reps could either wait for the contact to initiate the chat or use a message
such as “Thanks for watching my video! I’m here if you have any
questions.” This approach makes sense. By utilizing a generic
message that sounds automated, it feels less invasive. This may be a
situation where a generic message may be welcome as it serves as an invitation
to chat while a personalized message may be off-putting.
The user can take one of two roads — proactively engage with the video viewer while they’re watching via the chat functionality OR not engage at all and allow the video viewer to chat with them at their own discretion…Other customers have gone the route of not messaging and just offering the viewer another channel to engage with them outside of email or a phone call. Buyers have all of the power. And the ultimate goal is to meet them where they are…and to always be available to help.
Lacey Berrien, Drift’s PR Senior Manager
appears to be a Gresham’s
Law of MarTech (“Bad money drives out good”); an effective channel or
marketing tool quickly becomes overused or misused, resulting in lowered
efficacy. Embedded video could quickly convert a golden channel into
chaff through overuse and perceived creepiness. What makes embedded video
so compelling today is its ability to personalize and deliver a relevant
message on a 1:1 basis. If embedded video overwhelms prospects or is seen
as inviting immediate, unwanted contact, it will kill the golden goose. A
softer touch is likely the best practice. If viewers maintain the control
and opt into contact, then it will enhance the value of a video by providing a
Call to Action that the prospect controls.
Human-verified contacts vendor DealSignal released an Enrichment module for maintaining data quality. Along with company and contact enrichment, DealSignal appends Bombora third-party intent data, helping identify which prospects are actively researching key topics. The service supports inbound lead enrichment and scheduled data maintenance.
Because inbound leads are enriched, they can be quickly segmented, scored, routed, and prioritized. ABM companies can immediately determine whether a lead matches a target persona and ideal customer profile, ensuring such leads are immediately sent to sales for action.
Contacts are matched against DealSignal’s universe of
human-verified contacts and enriched with direct dials, firmographics, and
A wizard helps map DealSignal fields to Salesforce or
HubSpot. Admins set sync and refresh schedules.
“We’re always excited when our partners develop innovative new ways of using intent data to help marketing and sales teams drive revenue. By extending lead enrichment automation to include Bombora’s Company Surge data, DealSignal will provide revenue teams valuable insight into whether a buying committee is forming or one curious person just happened to download some content. That added insight will help marketing and sales teams work together more effectively to drive the most value from their inbound leads.”
Charles Crnoevich, Head of Partnerships at Bombora
Inbound Lead Enrichment service is the first B2B DaaS platform to combine human-verified contacts and firmographics with third-party Bombora intent. The platform takes skinny inbound leads and enriches them with accurate, actionable insights and contact details, helping determine which leads should be immediately routed to sales and which should be retained. Reps can then prioritize prospects that are currently in-market for products or services like theirs and craft highly personalized messaging, thereby improving their odds of exceeding quota.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator has been rolling out its Q2 release to customers over the past few weeks. The new functionality includes a redesigned home page, improved keyword searching, custom list enhancements, and additional Sales Navigator Application Platform (SNAP) connectors.
The homepage emphasizes alerts and the new Sales Navigator Coach. The Coach is a training tool with a gamification feature – a progress meter which shows your level of product mastery, from Beginner to Expert. Reps are shown three recommended actions. They can either try a recommended action or watch a short training video.
All of the Coach features, with the exception of PointDrive, may be executed from a mobile device.
“This is just the beginning for Sales Navigator Coach, and we can’t wait to bring more personalized education to all our Sales Navigator customers. We’re also excited to bring Sales Navigator Coach to usage reporting later this year.”
Sales Solutions VP of Product Management Doug Camplejohn.
Several features on the homepage have been moved. The SSI (Social Selling Index) tool is available via a drop down and the newsfeed has been replaced with an alert feed.
Note: This is part one of my profile of the Q2 2019 release. Tomorrow I will be covering enhanced alert functionality.